“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Had Actually Become Depression Itself

On the way to Fairy Falls - photography by Anthony

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you; and

when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;

the flames will not set you ablaze.

Isaiah 43:2 NIV

Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 1

I've decided to walk through my Siesta Scripture Memory Team verses for this year. Just enough for one a day to finish on Christmas Eve. Hard to believe I am about to select my 23rd verse to memorize for this year. And I wonder if my brain could hold even more next year...

My first verse selection of this year is so precious to me. A verse that I held so tightly during my depression in 2006.

2006. I struggled. My dark night of the soul. Where was God in all of this? I started to believe the lie in my head that was telling me that I was dying... that I would be better off dead... that I was a burden to those around me... that I didn't even exist anymore... that I had actually become depression itself. I had no value.

It wasn't just in my mind. It was physical, too. I couldn't eat. People would bring us meals... because I didn't even have the strength to cook. And I would try to eat, but I just couldn't. And I would cry trying to force myself to eat.

My digestion was a wreck. I remember praying grace over meals... and meaning it. God, please help me to eat and digest this food. Please, God.

I tried to watch television. But everything bothered me. I had to be sheltered from the news. I tried to watch funny programs, but I felt bad for those who were the object of the joke. Soon, my only television watching became the Travel channel with the sound turned off.

I couldn't stand to be on the phone. Everything seemed loud. I couldn't concentrate enough to read. A friend would drive Christopher to school... and I would go back to bed. I would gain enough strength to pick him up at the end of the day.

I would start to feel a little better each night. I would go to bed and wake up worse than the day before. Again, I would feel better at night... like Groundhog's Day, I tried to stay awake as long as I could... fearing sleep... because I would wake up and be back to where I was the day before.

We didn't know at first that it was depression. Although I suffer with chronic depression, it had never been like this... with these physical symptoms. Was I pregnant? Was I premenopausal? Was my thyroid off? Was it cancer? I was taking anti-depressants, but nothing was helping.

I had to live through it. Each day. Each horrible day. Each wasted awful day. Not able to serve in any capacity. Not able to be a wife and mother. Just a sick bump on a log.

But was living through it really an option? Was I going to live through this? Was God really with me? And although at the time I couldn't believe it, I would read this verse over and over.

When I was passing through the waters and the rivers and the fire... When I was in the depression... God was with me. I would not be swept over. I would not be burned. Really? God was with me? and I would survive? I still didn't believe it, but it was better than the alternative.

I posted the verse on my bathroom mirror. I would right it on a slip of paper and carry it with me... as if carrying it with me would make me better. Well, it was worth a try.

And it was all true. God was with me every moment. I can see that now. I can know that now. But then... all I knew was living one fragile moment at a time. And He was right... I was not swept over. I was not burned. The flames did not set me ablaze...

Or did they? Because the fire inside me... that longs for everyone to know Christ... and not just know about Him, but to know Him... to experience His forgiveness and His love... to walk a deeper walk... to live a more abundant life... still burns within me. It is all I have to give.

Oh, dear... are you ready for this? I am actually glad that I went through such a deep depression. What?! Yes, it is true! Because when I am in worship and I sing about God's Amazing Grace... I know it. I KNOW IT! I have experienced it. And it is all true! All true! God is who He says He is... and He can do what He says He can do!

Are you there today? Are the waters rising? Are you about to be swept over by the river? Are you walking through the fire? Whatever it is... He will be with you. He promised.

And friend, I am here, too. With you. Praying for you. Waiting for you.

With much love,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Sheri,
You don't know me, but several weeks ago I was home sick while my family was at church and I was so overwhelmed with the darkness I had (have) been in for the last 5 months, and I desperately needed a touch from God. As our amazing Lord and Savior would have it, I somehow (of course by Him) stumbled upon your blog that night. God filled me with His love, and His hope through you and your wonderful blog! I have saved you to my favorites and I go on your blog often, knowing that I will be refreshed by our Lord Jesus. Today is yet another day of darkness and so once again I went onto your blog. (I've been enjoying your beautiful Yosemite pictures lately, along with the prefect scripture for me.) The Isaiah 43:2 scripture which you posted yesterday has been one of my scriptures during these very difficult months. Today when I read it I felt that God was speaking to me again through you. I guess what I really want to say is praise God for you, and thank you, Sheri!!! Much of what you wrote about your 2006 experience I can very much relate to. Today God gave me HOPE, through you. I just wanted to say from one sister to another, thank you, Sheri! May God bless you for your truth and honesty so that others can believe that not matter how dark, God IS still right here. With His love, Libby zeiglerfamily@me.com